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Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Worshipper of Eros on Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:29 pm

I read something online regarding which of the Gods and Goddesses may be offered wine and those whom you should not offer wine. One of the listed were Cthonic deities and the dead, would that include Hermes? Or would it depend on the epithet used and whether one was worshiping him as a Ouranic deity or a Cthonic one?

Also what's a general list of Gods whom should never be offered wine? 

Thanks.
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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Erodius on Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:08 pm

Wine is usually an acceptable libation to any god — including the chthonic and terrestrial. 

The notable exception to this is Dimitra/Ceres, and sometimes by extension Earth, with whom Dimitra is regularly considered identical. 

For certain symbolic and mystic reasons, Dimitra appears in the Abduction of Persefoni rejecting gifts of wine, instructing instead that she be served a minted barley water called κυκεών. 


Daemones, chthonic powers, and the souls of the deceased are routinely offer wine libations, particularly — at least in the Orphic formulae — at the time of the spring Βακχεία, or Ανθεστήρια, as well as in funerary and memorial observances.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  tayarlin on Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:51 pm

I read somewhere that Aphrodite found pork to be repulsive Razz

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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Erodius on Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:45 pm

Here are the references Theoi.com has to Aphroditi and swine; the aversion to porcine sacrifice to the goddess has to do with the death of Adonis:


Aphrodite had a curious relationship with the pig. The goddess supposedly hated the creature because her lover Adonis had been gored to death by a wild boar. Therefore arose the proverb 'he sacrificed a pig to Aphrodite' used to refer to someone who gave an innappropriate or unwanted gift.
However, in Argos and Kypros at least, pigs were sacrificed to the goddess during the Hysteria (of the pigs) festival. The sacrifice was probably to assuage her grief for the loss of Adonis, who was slain by a wild pig.



Aesop, Fables 197 (from Chambry 329) (trans. Gibbs) (Greek fable C6th B.C.) :
"A sow and a dog were viciously arguing with one another. The sow, for her part, swore by Aphrodite that she would tear the dog to pieces with her teeth. The dog replied ironically, ‘Yes indeed, you do well to swear by Aphrodite! It's clear just how much she loves you, since she absolutely forbids anyone who has tasted your filthy flesh to enter her temple.’ The sow retorted, ‘This is even more evidence of the goddess's love for me, since she turns away anyone who has slain or mistreated me in any way. As for you, you just smell bad, dead or alive!’ "



Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 3. 95f - 96a (trans. Gullick) (Greek rhetorician C2nd to 3rd A.D.) :
"Antiphanes in The Woman of Korinthos: ‘A: And then a pig's foot to Aphrodite? Ridiculous! B: But you don't know. In Kypros, my master, the goddess takes such delight in swine that she keeps the beast from feeding on dung, but has forced that job upon the oxen.’ As a matter of fact Kallimakhos (or Zenodotos), in Historical Notes, testifies that the pig is sacrificed to Aphrodite, in these words: ‘The people of Argos sacrifice swine to Aphrodite and the festival is called Hysteria (Feast of Swine).’ "

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Worshipper of Eros on Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:31 am

Interesting, I can't find the source of where I originally came across this information concerning certain deities and wine offerings. It was some time ago so perhaps they removed the page upon discovering it as being an acceptable offering after all.

The offering of pork to Aphrodite is an interesting one though, thanks for sharing  tayariln and thanks for the elaboration/sources Erodius.
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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Pemphredo on Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:16 pm

I simply love Aesop!

Sorry, this is a little of-topic: according to a poem (known as "Theokritos 33") the boar didn't want to kill Adonis but was attracted to his beauty. When Aphrodite catches him to force him to give account for his behaviour, he justifies himself by swearing that he wasn't up to kill Adonis but just to kiss Adonis' beautiful thigh... he blames his sharp tusks for killing Adonis. Hearing that, Aphrodite forgave the boar. I've found this in Reinhold Merkelbachs Isis Regina - Zeus Sarapis (2001: 46): [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


I've the impression too that according to the Orphic liturgy/hymns not all deities received inscense? For example: the Hekate-hymn doesn't include indications about which inscense she desires.
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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Erodius on Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:58 pm

Pemphredo wrote:I've the impression too that according to the Orphic liturgy/hymns not all deities received incense? For example: the Hekate-hymn doesn't include indications about which inscense she desires.

This is true. Certain gods lack a prescribed incense offering, while in a few cases particular sorts are straightforwardly prohibited.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Callisto on Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:36 pm

Worshipper of Eros wrote:Interesting, I can't find the source of where I originally came across this information concerning certain deities and wine offerings. It was some time ago so perhaps they removed the page upon discovering it as being an acceptable offering after all.


The wine-less libation is called nephalia (or "sober"), consisting originally of water then honey and water, and said to have  continued to be used in some instances after the creation of wine: to the Chthonic gods, the dead, Furies, Muses and Nymphs, Eos, and Selene (there may be more). Nephalia was also an aspect of the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Though I don't know if nephalia was necessarily/always non-intoxicating since mead is the product of fermented honey and water. And there are accounts of deities becoming intoxicated and not from wine, such as when Kronos became intoxicated after Zeus gave him a honey drink.

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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Erodius on Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:38 pm

There is certainly an association between chthonic and Demetrian powers and wineless libations, a relationship that is reflective in Orpheo-Pythagorean reckoning of a certain Sacred Mystery. 

It is, however, more complex than a simple proscription of wine as an offering to terrestrial powers.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Worshipper of Eros on Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:50 pm

The wine-less libation is called nephalia (or "sober"), consisting originally of water then honey and water, and said to have  continued to be used in some instances after the creation of wine: to the Chthonic gods, the dead, Furies, Muses and Nymphs, Eos, and Selene (there may be more). Nephalia was also an aspect of the Eleusinian Mysteries.



When was it appropriate to offer nephalia? I take it there was no set rule then and that this "sober" offering was a thing of choice, bar the mysteries?

p.s, I feel as though I have placed this discussion in the wrong section, perhaps if any moderators see it as necessary they could move it to general practices or beginners?
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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Erodius on Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:44 pm

As mentioned, such offerings are strongly associated with terrestrial, chthonic and Demetrian powers, but they are suitable as offerings in any case.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Callisto on Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:55 pm

Worshipper of Eros wrote:When was it appropriate to offer nephalia? I take it there was no set rule then and that this "sober" offering was a thing of choice, bar the mysteries?

My usual offerings consist of water, honey, and olive oil so it's certainly acceptable in general. Of what I recall, nephalia continued as a traditional libation for some like the Erinyes and chthonic gods, then sometimes (though not always clear when) for other deities, such as (chthonic) manifestations of Zeus, or even Dionysus.

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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Erodius on Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:31 pm

Callisto wrote:Of what I recall, nephalia continued as a traditional libation for some like the Erinyes and chthonic gods, then sometimes (though not always clear when) for other deities, such as (chthonic) manifestations of Zeus, or even Dionysus.


Thanks for rephrasing exactly what I just said — Razz 

Lol. No harm done. Laughing Wink

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Callisto on Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:43 pm

Bleh you posted while I paused for a phone call. Razz Anyway, all the comments saying much the same is usually indication of the info being on track. study

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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Worshipper of Eros on Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:04 pm

Well thanks for clearing that up, as a summary: wine is OK, although usually when offering to Demeter one would usually offer honey/water and or olive oil and the offering of honey/water/olive oil could also be offered to any deity. As Callisto pointed out, it's good when everyone seems to be on the same page with such practices. Smile
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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  J_Agathokles on Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:26 am

To come back to Aphroditē's averseness of porcine offerings, it's interesting that this may tie in with Semitic thought concerning pork. The Canaanites and Phoenicians did occasionally eat pork - especially the lower classes - but it was/is absolutely prohibited to offer it to the Gods as it is an impure meat in Semitic thought. The myth of Adonis getting killed by a *boar* may be a Hellenic way of finding a mythical explanation for this.

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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  Callisto on Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:20 pm

J_Agathokles wrote:To come back to Aphroditē's averseness of porcine offerings, it's interesting that this may tie in with Semitic thought concerning pork. The Canaanites and Phoenicians did occasionally eat pork - especially the lower classes - but it was/is absolutely prohibited to offer it to the Gods as it is an impure meat in Semitic thought. The myth of Adonis getting killed by a *boar* may be a Hellenic way of finding a mythical explanation for this.

This might be of interest:

"In Crete, like mainland Greece a center of the worship of Demeter, the pig was considered sacred, and one report indicates that nothing could induce people to eat its flesh.

If a specific rejection of pork was present in Greece and Rome, it may have been introduced along with Asian deities. One likely candidate is the Phrygian Cybele with her lover Attis. Cybele was present in ancient Greece.  In Rome, she was introduced in such a direct and auspicious way as to enhance the possibility that Asian elements would be accepted at the same time. In addition, there are reports of restriction on her Roman devotees' use of pork.  A second candidate is the Syrian Adonis, who resembled Attis in some ways; whose followers presumably did not, as a rule, sacrifice pigs or eat pork; and who in Greece was associated with the goddess Aphrodite. Ordinarily in Greek communities, pigs were not sacrificed to Aphrodite, goddess of love and fertility and lover of Adonis.  Though the Greeks did not know why this was so, in those places where the pig was sacrificed in the rites of Aphrodite,[158] it may have been at special rituals in which Adonis was implicated along with Asian influence." - p. 32, Eat Noth this Flesh: Food Avoidances from Prehistory to the Present, by Frederick J. Simons

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Re: Inappropriate offerings.

Post  J_Agathokles on Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:29 pm

Indeed, very interesting, Callisto.

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